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New technology will benefit UNHS dental patients - Medically Speaking, Volume Three, 01/21/16

You've seen commercials for 'Same Day Loans', 'Same Day Bathrooms', "Same Day Delivery' and in Chicago they even have a 'Same Day Cafe', and now the UNHS Dental Department is able to offer 'Same Day Crowns.'

All kidding aside, if the goal of modern technology is to save time and money, then UNHS has just added a crowning achievement in technology to it's arsenal of dental tools, literally. In the past, whenever Dentists at Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. needed to have a crown made for a patient, it took two weeks or more to have it done. The process included making an impression for the crown during one visit, then sending that impression to Salt Lake City to have the crown made and waiting for it to be returned. Then, the patient had to come back in and have the crown placed in the mouth.

Well, welcome to the 21st Century! With the addition of some pretty fancy modern technology, that entire process can be accomplished in one day or two days in some cases, instead of two weeks.

"It's amazing the way technology is making things easier for us," said Dr. Chris Boss, DDS, of the UNHS Montezuma Creek Dental Clinic.

Boss explained that the process involves the use of a 3D Imaging machine that can take a picture of the entire mouth. That image is then sent to a computer, that allows Dentists to scan the entire area where the crown is needed with a wand. This allows them to adjust and shape the crown the way they want it, and see how tight the crown will fit against the adjacent teeth. Once this is done, the information is sent to a 3D printer that molds the crown on site.

The entire UNHS Dental team underwent extensive training with the new equipment prior to the end of last year and now crowns can be made without the lengthy turn around time and the need for patients to return for several visits. The process is much more convenient and simple for the Dental staff and their patients.

An upgrade to the Panoramic X-Ray machine allows for a CT scan in 3D of the whole jaw that can be spliced and analyzed on a dedicated computer monitor. Both technologies are integrated in planning implant placement in the jaw and the crown that is attached to the implant.

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